Hawk Nelson : 2006-04-04Erika and Randy Brandt interviewed Hawk Nelson at GMA in Nashville the first week of April.
See Randy's review of Smile, It's The End of the World.
Randy: Well, tomorrow's a big day for you guys, speaking of videos and new songs.
Daniel: Yeah, Tuesday!
Randy: The new CD comes out. Let's talk about the new CD a little bit. I noticed in the sound, I felt like there was some of an old friend of ours, a little Trevor (McNevan of Thousand Foot Krutch) influence still helping you guys. Did you guys write a bunch of it on the last tour with TFK? Was that where a lot of the ideas came together?
Jason: Well, the ideas (originated) for sure in the back of that bus.
Randy: I assume during the TFK tour?
Randy: Now did Trevor have some ideas he brought to you guys, or did you guys have ideas you took to and bounced off of him or what was the process of coming up with the songs?
Jason: A lot of the songs I had some ideas from years ago. For instance the song Zero and Something on My Mind. Those were two songs I had written a long, long time ago, and just kinda thrown on the back burner. Then we were like, "You know what, let's work on that song." So we brought it back up and turned it into something different from what it originally was. It's kinda neat to see the growth of the song. One, just work on them as a band, and two, give them to Trev kinda like a pre-production producing type of job for him. It was really awesome to see him putting our ideas together and see what they turned out to be. It was awesome--it's always a fun thing to work with Trevor. We just have this good chemistry together. Why fix something that's not broken?
Daniel: Yep, he's a good lad. I love him. I love you, Trevor.
Randy: Kinda doubt Trevor's gonna bother watching this.
Jason: Oh, in that case, I can't really stand the guy. I think he's a jerk.
Randy: I want to take you back to another interview. Not with us. Back to a totally different state, different time and place. Kind of an infamous interview involving Jason being somewhat bovine and chomping on grass while Daniel's getting beaned in the head with a soccer ball.
Jason: El Cajon, California. Dude, that was so weird.
Randy: Do want the weird connection to us?
Jason: Yes, please.
Randy: That soccer field where you were doing the interview, that campus is where my wife and I met. It's Christian Heritage College in San Diego.
Jason: That's crazy.
Randy: Velvet and Lori have been pretty good about getting us passes to Hawk Nelson; you see us stalking you around the country at various venues.
Jason: I wish.
Randy: At least if you're in Colorado. But my wife said, "Look, you're going to GMA without me. The least you can do is get me backstage passes to Hawk Nelson on the cruise."
Daniel: Oh, the cruise. In January.
Randy: That'd be a good place to get backstage access. Because, after all, you'll pretty much be stuck on the boat for five days.
Jason: There's no escaping. We'd have to jump overboard if people start harassing us.
Daniel: We stop for two days at two different ports. I'm excited about that.
Randy: So we'd probably be thrown of the boat at that point.
Daniel: No, no.
Randy: I went on one cruise for our twentieth anniversary. I took her to the Bahamas.
Daniel: Twentieth anniversary?!
Randy: Well, what do you think? Erika's not the oldest and she's 19. Heather's going to be 21 next week.
Daniel: That's amazing. That doesn't happen anymore.
Randy: Heather's getting married in July.
Daniel: What do you think of him?
Erika: Of Josh? He's cool. He's a good guy.
Jason: Let's ask Randy. What do you think of Josh?
Daniel: Yeah, what do you think of him?
Randy: He asked me last summer up in Canada. He said, "I'd like to marry your daughter." And I decked him.
Jason: Jersey him!
Jonathan: And now unfortunately he's dead.
Daniel: Yeah, what do you say as a father?
Jason: That's crazy... he gave you the actual talk.
Randy: Yeah, he asked me up there before he gave her the ring.
Daniel: That's good.
Jason: That's really good... I'm trying to picture what kind of dad you are to your daughters. Where you kind of a jerk to him for a little bit when he first started coming around? Were you like, "What are your intentions with my daughter?"
Randy: Well, she actually met him in Switzerland, so it was a little hard for me to get involved at that point. Then got to know each other in Massachusetts. Ever heard of Francis Schaffer's L'Abri?
Jonathan: Yes, I have.
Randy: But I told him I had various hockey sticks that I knew how to use better than Aaron, even though Aaron's had more publicity on the ice than I have (CCM magazine). I've probably played more hockey.
Aaron: Yeah, you did. I got a stick in my hand. That's all. That's all I've ever known.
Randy: But, they got you on skates.
Aaron: They did get me on skates. I've skated before.
Daniel: That was awesome.
Randy: Though, Jonathan, your stick looked like it was curved the wrong way.
Jason: That's very observant of you.
Jonathan: It was. You know why; because he told me to hold it that way. I was like, Dude that looks stupid. But, he was like, your arms have to be that way.
Jason: The great thing is, he's got a wicked backhand.
Jason: Dude, you'd totally appreciate this. I went home for Christmas, and we were gonna play some hockey, and I had to pick up a new stick and I wanted a Jarome Iginla stick, but it was like 300 bucks. I ended up settling for something else.
Daniel: What?? For a stick??
Erika: Do you ever feel like you're just lumped in with the "Canadian band"?
Aaron: I wouldn't put it that way, but YEAH.
Randy: Well, just to prove, that we don't just ignore you, the new American guy, I've listened to Nevada Sky. How's that?
Hawk Nelson: Whoa!
Randy: How many interviewers have mentioned Nevada Sky today?
Daniel: Not one.
Jason: Not two either.
Randy: Are the guys still doing anything with Nevada Sky?
Aaron: They're still going. They actually just got back from Russia. And that's good for them to just get away and have a good time. They're still pushing and writing.
Randy: The guys in Red Umbrella mentioned Swish. How long ago were you guys Swish? In high school?
Jason: I was fourteen. I was the only one in that band.
Jonathan: When the band was called Swish, Jay was the only one of the four of us.
Jason: Dave and Matt were in that band with me.
Randy: But that was the junior-high high-school era?
Daniel: Rest in peace.
Randy: Well, we're gonna move on. That guy over there is the Natural Anthem guy.
Jonathan: Dude, you know everything.
Randy: Are you working on a solo project?
Jonathan: Umm, quietly, slowly. This is my priority.
Randy: Should be.
Erika: For sure.
Jonathan: Anything else on the side I'm doing is mostly for my own enjoyment.
Daniel: Have you heard his stuff?
Randy: Yeah, I've heard his Natural Anthem stuff.
Jonathan: It's on my myspace.
Randy: So there's no target date?
Jonathan: I do want to put together a full record. I'm working on that right now. It will probably be sometime later this year that I'll actually finish it. Hopefully.
Randy: So, it's getting pretty close.
Jonathan: It's getting there. I'm about half way done. But, the new Hawk record is tomorrow.
Randy: Yeah, you gotta focus on that for a while. Of course, with Bring 'Em Out being on there, we just got the DVD from Yours Mine and Ours. And then we found Jason running out the door.
Aaron: He's the last one out of the house.
Daniel: And one scene Dennis Quaid pushed you out, but they didn't keep that one.
Jason: Yeah, he kicked me. They didn't use it though.
Daniel: We shot that like four or five times.
Randy: So, GMA stands for Gospel Music Association. Obviously, you guys have had some interesting times the last year since we spoke last. The recording and the movie opportunities. I think you'd just done the TV show. As you get in more of the mainstream stuff, obviously you're getting a lot more kids coming to your shows that don't have any church background at all. What do you see as some of the opportunities to affect their worldview and expose them to the truth you've found in Christ?
Jason: I think, with this record we're trying to provide a positive response to the negativity in the world. Also, I think every kid needs to know that they have a dream inside of them and a goal whether they know it or not. I really want to help them find that dream and what they want to do and push them and encourage them to go for it with everything they have. There's so many kids that are so talented, but they're too shy or intimidated to use their dreams. I just want to help them bring out what's inside them. Because people have done that for me growing up. You know, I was really into music, but I was embarrassed, or I didn't want to screw up. But people would encourage me, and get me to use my talents, putting me in little bands in youth group and stuff to help me live my dream and live it to it's full potential. I think so many kids need that motivation and that encouragement, and I think we can really do that for them. Those kids are there, without them even knowing it, they could be that doctor who does find a cure for cancer, but so many kids are more focusing on the negativity in the world than the positive things in their life. And when the negative things come in, that's the main focus all of a sudden. Like a gas chamber. You put someone in a gas chamber, no matter how much gas you put in, it'll kill them. It's the same thing, you give some kid the smallest amount of negativity that's gonna become the biggest thing in their life. And it'll totally just cloud everything else, their views and stuff. I think we really need to encourage kids to stay positive and let them realize that they do have a meaning to be here and they need to live out their goals and dreams, be successful and change the world and make it a better place.
Randy: Daniel, by the way, I enjoyed your little CCM sidebar.
Daniel: Thanks man.
Aaron: Oh, mercy.
Daniel: I think that we've realized that this can be a really powerful thing, if we want to let it be. It can just be music if you want it to be, and it can be much more. I think God has opened up our hearts in the last few years to that. With kids and us even going through stuff: depression, broken homes or whatever, we can help relate with them and hopefully encourage them. That's what we're here to do.
Aaron: Yeah, I think Jason well-said it. Wherever you're at in your life, you don't have to be a kid, you can be an adult going through the hardest time, tragedy even, it doesn't matter. That's what the record's all about. It's a positive thing. Using that drastic Smile, It's the End of the World is obviously super sarcastic, but just trying to hold on to those positive things because the negative ones are just going to hold you down. I've experienced that personally within the last few years.
Jason: I think Pillar said it best: "You can't bring me down."